A Responsive Sanction to Promote Systematic Compliance? Enforceable Undertakings in Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 21, 280-315, 2008
37 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2009 Last revised: 4 Nov 2015
This article examines the use of enforceable undertakings in Australian occupational health and safety (OHS) regulation. Enforceable undertakings are promises by persons alleged to have breached their regulatory obligations to do something, which if not done, is enforceable in court. Enforceable undertakings potentially have an important responsive and restorative role to play in a regulatory enforcement strategy to ensure compliance with OHS statutes, and have been used in other areas of business regulation, including trade practices, financial, prudential, consumer, civil aviation, environmental and communications and media regulation. The article then reports on a study of the operation of enforceable undertakings in Queensland to enforce compliance with OHS obligations. We conclude that this early experience of enforceable undertakings in Queensland provides useful guidance as to how the enforceable undertaking provisions might best be implemented elsewhere, and preliminary evidence of the complexities of their likely effectiveness in OHS regulation.
Keywords: Enforceable undertakings, occupational health and safety, OHS, Australia, Queensland, compliance
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